Wednesday, February 8, 2012


If you're anything like me, a lot of organic or natural foods taste like dirt.  There's definitely part of me that thinks that it's the "price of eating healthy."  As I write this, I'm drinking a store-bought bottle of green tea.  I just noticed a haiku (of course) on the side of the label that reads:
Through muddied waters
A lotus finds the sunlight
Hope resurrected
I found this fitting since the tea actually tastes quite a bit like muddied waters.  At least it's cold and has powerful antioxidants.  And haiku!
But honestly, sometimes I don't mind the taste of dirt.  It's why I like beets, I think.  They just taste (and are) good for you.  I also like when my husband smells like dirt and grass after he's been working outside.  Maybe it's a primal thing (and perhaps a topic for a different blog).
I started the morning off with a kale smoothie, which I have to say was very good.  Probably because of the banana, grapes, vanilla and cinnamon that went in with the leafy greens.  (It was pretty too).  But I can't guarantee it would make its way pass my kids' lips.  And it made me start thinking about how programmed we are to flavor.  One of the few things I really pat myself on the back about regarding parenting (outside of my mean Halloween costume-making skills) is that my first kid never had jarred baby food.  I made it all.  So everything was natural & unprocessed.  And she ate everything!  Every kind of fruit, veggie, meat, yogurt, etc.  And I think she was always such a good eater because she had experienced "real" food from the start.  No fake flavors. goes on and gets busier and the second kid comes along and the first kid is much older*.  I tried to give all homemade food to Gus when he started on solids.  I did pretty well for the first few months.  It was when I caught myself pureeing frozen chicken nuggets that I realized I was fooling no one.  And poor Sam pretty much got table scraps when we remembered to feed him (just kidding. or am I?).  I notice now that the kids are much more finicky eaters and it's going to be a process to dial them back down to more natural flavors.
I did a 6-day fast about 7 years ago that was really great (for me).  And when I got back into eating food, all I really craved was fresh, natural food.  I remember thinking that cauliflower never tasted so good.  I know it was because I had freed my tastebuds and my body from wanting all of  the additives and so-called "natural flavors" that you find on many labels.
So...I'm now on a mission to spice it up the natural way in order to jazz things up for these kids, and - who am I kidding - myself.  Since most of my spice cabinet spices taste like nutmeg and oregano mixed together (sort of like how your mom's old purfumes started to have that same "we're done" smell), I'm going to make a list of 4-5 spices and head back over to the bulk food aisle and see what I can uncover.  A sensory journey, if you will.  As soon as I can find something that entices these little humans to eat quinoa, I'll let you know.

*for the record, and so I can stop referring to them by age or birth order, my kids are Rainey (10), Gus (3), and Sam (20 months).

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